The choice of Councilor Sal LaMattina to head a Boston City Council committee responsible for studying and informing about the casino issue is a good one. The appointment made by City Council President Stephen Murphy highlights the importance of the casino issue and highlights as well LaMattina’s complete understanding of the expanded gambling effort set to include three casinos in Massachusetts and possibly one of those in East Boston at Suffolk Downs.
LaMattina knows what is at stake for East Boston and for all of Boston’s neighborhoods as a result of the expanded gambling bill recently signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick.
Even though he is an unabashed supporter for a casino at Suffolk Downs, his leadership on the committee is not intended to hide that fact or to enhance Suffolk Downs’ interests.
Rather, it is up to Councilor Lamattina to spread the word and to lay out on the table the facts about casino gambling in Boston and perhaps at Suffolk Downs and what it will mean for everyone in the city.
Councilor LaMattina knows a casino located at Suffolk Downs will do many things: among them is creating thousands of jobs; spending hundreds of millions in construction and improvements; cause all kinds of mitigation by the casino owners – traffic, fire, police, ambulance, and safety and on and on; and lead to a healthier economy.
LaMattina also understands fully the tax revenue ramifications for the entire city if a casino gets up and going at Suffolk Downs.
The city of Boston will receive a substantial new stream of tax revenues to be used as the mayor and city council determine it is necessary and at the same time, the city will not be deluged with new expenses or hidden costs.
The real beauty of the casino effort is that all the money for it is provided by private investors. There is not one dime of government money involved.
There is no question LaMattina would like to see a casino operation that perfectly fits the scheme of life here at Suffolk Downs.
It helps his neighborhood of East Boston. It helps all the neighborhoods of Boston with a new stream of revenue.
His job on the committee he has been named to is to spread that word – and he will.